Mayor dyer has just appointed a new Sustainability and Resilience Director for the City of Orlando.

Michael Hess, who has served with the city since 2019 as the Director of Orlando’s Future-Ready Initiative, and created the city’s Future-Ready city Master Plan, was appointed by the mayor in October 2022. The plan focuses on goals based on the use of tech and data to address challenges like connectivity, energy, health and safety, materials, mobility, placemaking, and water. Now in this position, he can put the plan into action.

“Focused on creating smart and sustainable cities, Michael has worked on more than 100 LEED Certified projects and is well-qualified to lead the department here at the city,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Recognized as a LEED Fellow, the highest designation for sustainability expertise, I’m confident Michael’s knowledge and proficiency will ensure we continue to leverage innovation and collaboration to meet the needs of our residents and businesses. I look forward to working with him in his new and expanded role.” 

Hess, a licensed mechanical engineer originally from Wisconsin, earned his degree from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Living in Central Florida now for more than two decades, he was selected by his peers as the first President of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Florida Chapter in 2016 and also served several terms on the USGBC National Board of Directors. Hess has worked on several smart city projects across the U.S., including those connected to autonomous vehicles, bridging the digital divide, carbon-neutral micro-grids, food recovery, resiliency hubs, and advanced air filtration systems.

Previous Director of Sustainability, Chris Castro, left the city to accept the role of Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of State and Community Energy Programs in July of this year.

Side note, Castro was in a music video. Check it out below.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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